Rachel Olson

Rachel Olson

Director, The Firelight Group (Vancouver, BC)

August 11, 2022

Rachel Olson is a citizen of the Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nation from the Yukon territory. She has been a researcher in First Nation communities since 1998, working on various projects, from oral history, traditional land use and natural resource management, to First Nations health issues. She has a Master of Research in Social Anthropology from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. In May 2013, she completed a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Sussex, looking at the issue of maternal health and childbirth in Manitoba First Nations communities. Dr. Olson has worked as a consultant for the LINKS (Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems) program at UNESCO in Paris, France, and at the First Nations Centre at the National Aboriginal Health Organization on their maternal care file. She works closely with the National Aboriginal Council of Midwives as a researcher and writer for their Aboriginal Health and Human Resource Initiative projects. At Firelight, Rachel is a technical lead of the Traditional Knowledge and Use Study team, and the lead on health-related projects. She has authored numerous Traditional Knowledge (TK) / Traditional Land Use (TLU) reports for First Nation communities in British Columbia, Alberta, and the Northwest Territories. Her work has focused on knowledge and use in relation to different industries, including pipelines, wind farms, and mining. She has also testified at environmental review board hearings on Firelight TUS methods, analysis, and assessment.


Role: Panel Member; Panel Member
Report: The Future of Arctic and Northern Research in Canada; Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts: Toward Integrated Natural Resource Management in Canada (April 2019)